How to choose the best payment gateway integration for retail eCommerce


The eCommerce industry is booming, and its relentless rise shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, eCommerce sales have risen from $1.34 trillion in 2014 to $1.86 trillion in 2018, and are predicted to grow to $4.87 trillion by 2021. However, a thriving industry and an online store that ticks all the boxes in terms of design is not enough to close sales, which when it comes down to it, is how your business grows.

How you process your payments is extremely important. What is the magic formula for success, you might ask? Enabling your customer to complete their transaction while demonstrating optimal security against fraud and providing a frictionless, convenient experience is paramount to any eCommerce business. Choosing the best payment gateway integration for retail eCommerce - abstract illustration of blender on top of 'payment integration' signifying retail payment integration

In this article we will cover:

  • Payment integration for eCommerce stores explained
  • How the right payment gateway helps retail eCommerce stores flourish
  • Different types of payment integration for retail eCommerce stores

What does a payment integration look like for eCommerce stores?

eCommerce store payment integration is the process of connecting your online storefront with a digital payment gateway. The integration is typically carried out via the use of application protocol interfaces (APIs). Think of it as metaphorical cash register that is both secure and easily accessible by the right people.

The ideal payment integration offers a range of important benefits for eCommerce sites, including fraud protection, versatility of digital payment methods and an efficient customer experience at point of purchase.

How can a payment integration solution benefit a retail eCommerce store?

An online payment gateway integration can help your eCommerce store in a number of important ways:

Enhanced security of credit card payments

Demonstrating that your site is trustworthy is crucial to your sales targets. Customers want to shop online safe in the knowledge that the site will securely handle their data. Using a payment gateway that offers point to point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization will transform your payments processes, ensuring that you meet industry security standards. This maximized protection also allows you to reduce Payment Card Industry (PCI) scope, as it facilitates easier regulatory compliance.

Low transaction processing fees

The right payments integration will enable your eCommerce store to take advantage of low transaction processing fees. Providers can vary substantially on price, and many merchants are unaware that they have a choice when it comes to transaction processing fees for credit card and debit card payments.

Omnichannel customer experience

If your business operates a brick-and-mortar store as well as an eCommerce store, you should consider adopting an omnichannel strategy. This fully integrated approach to shopping allows you to accept credit and debit card payments online and in-store while obtaining both types of customer payment behavior data to support and inform future strategic business decisions.

Abandoned shopping cart rate reduction

Research shows that customers abandon their online shopping cart a massive 68% of the time, so it is crucial that the experience for your customers at the point of purchase is optimal. Safeguarding this part of the payment process will not only help to generate greater sales, but it will boost your customer retention rates by reducing your load times and lessen incidents of shopping cart abandonment at checkout.

Access to rich business data

Ideally, an eCommerce payments gateway should provide your company with detailed transaction reporting and insights into vital business data, such as settlements, statements, deposits, voids and returns. This type of rich data is essential to understanding your customer better, allowing you to make adjustments accordingly to accelerate business growth.

The different types of payment gateways for eCommerce stores

There are various types of payment gateways to consider, and what works for one business may not work for another. It’s important to consider the unique needs of your eCommerce business when choosing your payment integration partner: How to choose the best payment gateway integration for retail eCommerce - Merchant and provider shaking on the closed deal | CardConnect

Hosted payment providers

Hosted payment gateways take care of the processing side of transactions. This includes setup, security and transaction completion, however, you relinquish customer experience control to the provider. Going down this route tends to be better suited to smaller eCommerce businesses with limited resources.

Self-hosted payment gateways

Hosting a payment gateway yourself gives you greater control over your customer experience. Customers don’t have to navigate away from your site to complete a payment, and you can customize the payment form in line with your online user interface. However, the trade-off is that your business is responsible for the implementation and management of security measures, as well as the greater administrative workload that comes with managing payment processing yourself.

API-powered payment gateways

An API payment integration gateway allows your business to maintain total control over the customer experience and user interface design. Similar to self-hosted payment gateways, your customer doesn’t have to navigate away from the site to complete a transaction, giving you complete flexibility with regard to customer experience and UI design. API payment processors enable you to accept credit and debit card payments while also taking care of payment processing. Providers that offer a comprehensive all-in-one product also offer features to facilitate optimal security and PCI compliance.

Why choosing the right payment gateway is an important decision

Your customers’ sense of safety is paramount, and with a secure payments processing system in place, you will not only generate more sales, but allow for a fast and frictionless customer journey which can boost customer retention and improve your customer loyalty performance.

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